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10/01/2020 23:12
France on their way to Tokyo!
CEV Tokyo Volleyball European Qualification 2020 - Men

Berlin, Germany, January 10, 2020.  France stamped their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, triumphantly winning the men’s CEV continental qualifier. In Friday’s big final, coach Laurent Tillie’s squad disappointed the home crowd in Berlin with a straight-set victory over hosts Germany. Four teams – France, Italy, Poland and Russia – will represent Europe among the 12 participants in the men’s Olympic Volleyball tournament in the Japanese capital from July 25 through August 8, 2020.

Final: France vs. Germany 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-23)

France claimed the only available Tokyo 2020 ticket at the qualifier in Berlin with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-23) shutout of hosts Germany in the big final on Friday evening.

Upon spiking for Germany’s first point, in the second rally of the match, opposite Gyorgy Grozer landed on Nicolas Le Goff’s foot. Luckily, the injury did not send him off the court and he stayed on to the relief of the huge crowd on the packed stands at the Max-Schmeling-Halle. Grozer went on to score as many as seven points in the set, but it was not enough for his team to win it. After 16-16, France ran off on a five-point run with Earvin Ngapeth serving and Le Goff delivering the kill blocks, and then kept pace through the 25-20 close. Germany recovered from an early four-point French lead in the second set, but only for a while. With Jean Patry scoring away both in offence and from the serving line, France kept the pressure on the host team and mastered one more 25-20 win, this time closed off on a spike by Yacine Louati. The German attempt at a comeback lasted through most of the hard-fought third set as they maintained a two or three-point lead through 18-16. In the money time, however, it was once again the French that stayed more focused to step upfront, reach match point and see Ngapeth convert it, hammering the last point of the tournament with a sizzling ace for 25-23.

Grozer’s 20 points made him the best scorer of the match, while Patry contributed 14, including four aces, to the French triumph. Le Goff impressed with six kill blocks to his name.

This will be the fifth time France appear at the Olympic Games. At Rio 2016, they finished ninth. Their best Olympic result was the eighth place they claimed at their rookie participation at Seoul 1988.

For further information, visit the official event website

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